Enfield-Rifles.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Enfields > Enfield Rifles
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - A “New” Rifle added to the Inventory
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

A “New” Rifle added to the Inventory

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A “New” Rifle added to the Inventory
    Posted: March 13 2020 at 2:07pm
Most of you know I’m partial to the No. 4 Rifle, particularly Long Branch.  I grew up in Eastern Ontario and for a Canadian, I just knew Long Branch made the best rifles!

A few months back, A Square 10  contacted me to offer one of his No. 4 rifles for sale.  Of course, I could not resist.  He kindly accepted my proposal to ship the rifle to me, allow me to inspect it, and if all was well, we would come to an agreement on price.  He was very accommodating, and clearly put his trust in me that I would not run off with his rifle without paying!  

Well, the day came last weekend that a very interesting, and probably quite rare, 1941 Long Branch No. 4 Mk 1/2 arrived.  Yes, a Mk I (no star) upgraded to Mk 2 in 1952.  It is a 0L34XX serial number, the first year of production.  Most parts were early Long Branch, possibly by chance or possibly previous owners wanting to return the rifle to the “correct” configuration. 

You all also know I thoroughly enjoy shooting these rifles in Vintage military matches, and I enjoy tinkering with them to bring out their full potential while keeping within the spirit of the “as issued” service rifle rules.  

My inspection mainly focused on the barrel bore condition and fit of the forend.  My first general observation was that this rifle has ”been there and seen it all” and given more than a lifetime of faithful service to the Empire.  But, it’s not over yet.  

A thorough cleaning of the bore and a borescope inspection showed strong rifling.  The bore gaged at .3020 passing, .3025 passing from breach to within 3 inches from muzzle and .3040 entering breach for 2 inches.  A .3060 gage entered the muzzle by about .1 inches, a bit bell mouthed likely from cleaning cord wear. This is five groove F52 barrel likely installed at the time of the Mk 2 upgrade.  Well worth test firing after recrowning the muzzle with a 11 deg carbide cutter.  

The forend will need some work, it was loose on the action.  A washer was needed under the main screw head, otherwise the screw bottoms out in the receiver lug.  The draws are quite worn, about 1/16 inch fore/aft movement of the forend on the action.  I will temporarily shim the draws just to test fire.  Unfortunately, the forend is slightly warped laterally, to the left.  I will clear out the barrel channel to remove any contact with the barrel.  I have not yet measured the pressure at the muzzle, but there is some there.  

The butt stock looks like a new Long Branch, only very minor dings. 

The bolt had a #1 head, looked unused.  It took a #3 bolt head to get the rifle to headspace correctly (0.64 go, 0.70 NOGO).  

An early Long Branch marked flared “button” type cocking piece.  The cocking piece sear face was badly grooved, this was dressed flat and smooth with very fine diamond file set up to just protrude from the vice.  Just enough to remove the groove.  The striker lock screw threads were stripped and just sitting in the cocking piece.  The threads were cleaned up with a 4BA bottom tap and a new screw installed.  The cocking piece was loose on the striker, as most are, and corrected with solder on the striker threads. 

 


No. 4 Rifles (.303):  Top, 58C Savage Mk 1/3.  Middle 0L Long Branch Mk 1/2. Bottom 69L Long Branch Mk 1/3.  




Close up on the receiver left side markings. Electo-pencil  marks are faint but clear enough “Mk I / 2 (F) (FTR).  Not showing in the picture is the “52 / 0L34XX” serial number also in Electro Pencil.  



When I get past this annoying cold, I will get out to the range to test fire. 

My sincere appreciation to ASquare for turning the trust and care of this rifle over to me.  










Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 10205
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 13 2020 at 2:47pm
we share that appreciation mutually my friend , i wish we were closer so we could share a beer and i could learn from you on a couple more i have , i am so pleased this resides with a collector/shooter who appreciates what it is , 
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2020 at 10:05am
 Today, I finished stripping the receiver of the small parts, ultrasonically cleaned, lightly oiled.  The hole in the end of the safety bolt was mostly plugged with dirt.  I cleaned it out, wondering it it had got there from a WWII battlefield.  

I cleaned out and scraped the bearing surfaces of the forend.  The rear reciever bearing needed 0.01 thick shims to bring the barrel muzzle pressure to 4-5 lbs.  I elected to repair it with bedding compound, which technically makes it ineligible for CMP matches, but this will tell me if the forend can be salvaged, otherwise I will need to replace it.  

It will soon be ready for the range.    


Back to Top
Canuck View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member
Avatar
Donating Member

Joined: January 17 2012
Location: Agassiz BC
Status: Offline
Points: 2761
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2020 at 12:07pm
I have 0L7337. Mine has been through FTR (48) but not converted to MK1/2. These '41's are so interesting and so hard to find as complete military rifles. Congrats on this addition to your collection!. As you may have noticed, there was a * electro penciled on the action body even though the rifle is a #4/MK1 without the bolt head release slot machined in.
Castles made of sand slip into the sea.....eventually
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2020 at 12:37pm
Canuck, is there a two digit number stamped on the receiver left side butt socket?  Mine has the SN, and above that, “46”.  Not sure what that number represents, perhaps an FTR date? 

The finish on yours looks largely intact, mine has had all the black top coat removed.  


Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2020 at 3:24pm
 Guys, this F52 barrel has electro pencil markings I’ve not seen before, the front protruding end of the barrel:

Top Side: 





Bottom side: (Reads “T6 KNOX TN 303 BRITISH”)



Anyone know who and why these markings were made?  And what does T6 signify?  

Does anyone know if the Canadian military services submitted No. 4 Mk 1 or Mk 1* rifles for upgrade to Mark 2?  

Geoff



Back to Top
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 10205
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 14 2020 at 7:10pm
i am guessing ..canadian replacement barrels 
Back to Top
englishman_ca View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 08 2009
Location: Almaguin
Status: Online
Points: 995
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2020 at 5:39am
Modern import markings.

Tennessee Guns International, Knoxville, Tennessee

And yes, there were some Savage and Long Branch Mk.I* rifles that got thrown in the mix for the FTR upgrade to 1/3.
Not common, but they are out there. 
I don't believe that they were submitted by the Canadian Govt for upgrade. The ones that got an FTR were likely just a random part of post war Brit stores.
.
.
Look to your front, mark your target when it comes!
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2020 at 7:04am
 Thanks Englishman, solved that mystery for me.  Any idea when they imported these rifles?  

Long Branch made about 10,000 Mk I rifles, I don’t know how many of those went to Britain, presumably most?  I couldn’t find in Skennerton’s book how many of the 910,000 Long Branch No. 4 rifles went to Britain, you would think that Long Branch would have supplied rifles to the Canadian Army.  


Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2020 at 7:25am
I removed the barreled receiver from the forend today, it’s a nice snug fit.  The epoxy bedding has eliminated all fore/aft movement of the forend on the action.  The draws bearing surfaces look well formed.  




Next, I cleared out the barrel channel out to the muzzle, it was touching the barrel at several places.  



0.003 aluminum shim stock had plenty of clearance after scraping the barrel channel.




The next stage is to bed the muzzle bearing.  I cleared out some wood with the stock scraper.  A small piece of 0.003 shim was placed on the forend muzzle bearing to hold the barrel off the wood, applied the epoxy bedding.  



This will complete the bedding process and give the correct 4 to 5 lbs pressure at the muzzle.  



Back to Top
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 10205
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2020 at 6:52pm
nice - should be a shooter when your done i think as well as a looker 
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2020 at 3:32pm
 I was able to remove the bell mouthed bore at the muzzle.  I first used the zero degree crowning tool to remove about 0.10 inches off the muzzle.  Then finished with the 11 degree cutter to full depth on the diameter. Only the slightest perceptible bell mouth remaining (less than 0.0005 deep) on the lands (previously, a 0.306 pin gage entered by about 0.1 inches).  


Back to Top
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 10205
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2020 at 5:34pm
wow - i would not have thought - but i dont have the equipment for this , 
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2020 at 1:33pm
Range Report - Long Branch No. 4 Mk 1/2

Talladega Marksmanship Park was open today, but will close on Monday for the next two weeks. 

I test fired the rifle today and was very pleased with the results.  This rifle will be a good shooter, although it’s also quite rare being a very early Long Branch 0L34XX upgraded to Mk 2 hung trigger.  

This rifle would not have shot well in the condition it was in.  In fact, it may have been dangerous to shoot.  Headspace exceeded Field Gage, forend was very loose on the action, recoil may have split the forend at the main screw.  Barrel was bellmouthed (not a safety concern, but would have caused wild shooting).  With these things corrected, it was time to test fire.

Weather was overcast, 8 to 10 mph winds at 12:00.  74 deg, 75% RH.  

Load:

New PPU Cases, trimmed to 2.10 (shortest length in the batch), primer pockets depth uniformed
WLR Primers
40.0 gr Varget
174 gr SMK 
3.06 in OAL

50 rounds total fired, 3 ten shot groups off bench, 2 ten shot groups prone with sling.  All at 200 yards.

PH5D aperture sight fitted, 1/8 MOA click elevation and windage adjustment. 

The best group was 2.0 MOA, the average of all groups was 2.8 MOA. 







I suspect if a scope is mounted, the groups would shrink to 1.5 MOA.  My eyesight is the limiting factor to get a consistent point of aim. 

The next step is to smooth the action and lighten the trigger, it is currently at 3 lbs first stage, 5 1/2 lb second stage. 



Back to Top
Bear43 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member
Avatar
Donating Member

Joined: August 11 2010
Location: Doland, SD
Status: Offline
Points: 2529
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2020 at 1:41pm
Very nice shooting and great job on giving the ol' girl some TLC.
Back to Top
britrifles View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: February 03 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1617
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2020 at 2:39pm
Thanks Bear. Numerous shots that were right on the edge of the X ring, 10.8 and 10.9’s.  The widest shot was a 10.7.  In the hands of Goosic, these would have all been in the X ring.  Which is remarkable for a standard issue No. 4 rifle, nothing at all special. 

The nice thing about this range is the electronic targets and monitor.  Center to Center extreme spread is shown at the bottom of the screen.  It’s in millimeters, so those of us who still cling to the Imperial system of measurements have to do the conversion.  



Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.